Kirsten Flipkens was left aghast after claiming to have learned via social media that the Indian Wells Open was cancelled.

Organisers confirmed on Sunday that the WTA event and the ATP Indian Wells Masters, which were both scheduled to start on Monday, had been called off due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency on Sunday after a confirmed case in Coachella Valley.

World number 77 Flipkens reacted with angry surprise to a tweet from the official tournament account that confirmed it had been called off, saying: "And the players had to find out... through Twitter...".

When American player Nicole Gibbs replied to tell Flipkens "There was an email", the Belgian responded: "I saw it on Twitter first."

She also sent a message to the WTA and urged fellow professionals to share it, saying: "@WTA isn't the least you can do is [sic] organising an emergency meeting with the players????"

Rising American star Coco Gauff said she was "so sad" that the event had been cancelled. The 15-year-old had been due to make her debut at the event this week.

"Safety is always the no.1 priority," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Jamie Murray expressed concern over the rest of the 2020 calendar given the Indian Wells tournaments were called off due to just one confirmed coronavirus case.

"Doesn't bode well for the tour if IW cancelled for 1 confirmed case in Coachella Valley," he wrote on Twitter. "Broward county (Miami Open home) has more confirmed cases. Monte Carlo borders northern Italy currently in lockdown. Rome Masters? French Open? Wimbledon?!!!"

In a statement following the Indian Wells cancellations, WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said: "It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first."

Coco Gauff has become the first 15-year-old in 15 years to reach the top 50 of the WTA rankings.

The American made a strong start to the year with her impressive run to the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she beat defending champion Naomi Osaka.

Those exploits from Gauff followed up on her breakout second half of the 2019 season. 

She burst onto the scene with a run to the last 16 at Wimbledon last year and went on to claim her first WTA Tour title in Linz.

Gauff's year-end ranking in 2018 was 686 and she had risen to 68 by the end of 2019.

Other WTA Tour results and points dropped for rival players saw Gauff reach a new peak of number 49 in Monday's latest version of the WTA rankings, the first time she has made the top 50.

The last 15-year-old to reach the top 50 wasSesil Karatantcheva, who achieved the feat in the week of August 1, 2005.

Gauff will look to continue her ascension when she returns to action at the Indian Wells Open next month, one of the biggest WTA tournaments outside of the grand slams due to its Premier Mandatory status.

She turns 16 in March, which means the current age restrictions which apply on the number of tournaments she is able to play will ease.

Australian Ash Barty remains top of the WTA rankings, while Bianca Andreescu is up to fourth, with Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin now in fifth position.

Belinda Bencic has fallen five places to ninth after her first-round loss at the Dubai Tennis Championships, an event she won last year.

Coco Gauff and Serena Williams will team up next week when generations join forces as the United States begin their Fed Cup campaign.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff and Williams, 38, were named in a formidable-looking five-player squad for the qualifying tie against Latvia, which will be played in the city of Everett, near Seattle.

Gauff is in line to become the second-youngest player to represent the US in the Fed Cup, if she sees action in the two-day tie.

Only Jennifer Capriati has played at a younger age, with the future grand slam winner and world number one being just 14 years and four months old in 1990 when she played against Poland.

Joining Gauff and Williams will be Sofia Kenin, who has reached the semi-finals of the ongoing Australian Open, plus world number 19 Alison Riske and doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

World number nine Williams saw her hopes of landing a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title in Melbourne dashed by a shock third-round defeat to China's Wang Qiang.

It was a result that prompted Williams to indicate she would work harder than ever to push for the record.

The veteran has never lost a Fed Cup singles match, being the holder of a 13-0 record, putting her two wins short of matching Martina Navratilova's career 15-0 mark.

Gauff went one round further than Williams in Australia before losing to compatriot Kenin, with the teenager having claimed the scalps of Venus Williams and defending champion Naomi Osaka on her run.

The US Fed Cup team is captained by former top-10 player Kathy Rinaldi, with the Latvia tie to be played on February 7-8.

Latvia have world number 33 Anastasija Sevastova and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in their ranks.

A new Fed Cup format sees the winners of the eight February ties go on to compete at the 12-team Finals, which takes place in Budapest from April 14-19, with Australia, France, Hungary and Czech Republic already assured of their places.

Ashleigh Barty avenged her fourth-round defeat at Wimbledon to Alison Riske by overcoming the American in three sets in the Australian Open fourth round.

The world number one battled to victory in an hour and 36 minutes to book a quarter-final meeting with Petra Kvitova, who came from a set down to beat Maria Sakkari.

Coco Gauff saw her brilliant week end in disappointment as she lost to compatriot Sofia Kenin, who is into the last eight of a grand slam singles tournament for the first time.

Qiang Wang, who stunned Serena Williams in round three, was defeated in straight sets by Ons Jabeur – another woman making major history in Melbourne.

NO REWARD FOR RISKE AS BARTY BATTLES ON 

Australia's hope for a home champion continues after Barty recovered from a miserable second set to defeat Riske for the first time. 

Riske won their first encounter in Eastbourne in 2016 before taking victory at Wimbledon last year, but Barty ended that losing streak with a 6-3 1-6 6-4 success. 

Barty was clinical in the opening set against too many errors from Riske, but the 29-year-old rallied in the second, breaking twice and dropping just five points on her own serve to force the decider. 

At 5-4, Barty set up match point with a backhand pass and Riske produced just her second double fault to hand victory to the favourite. 

"It was third time's a charm for me tonight," said Barty. "I just had to hang in there. It was very tough from both ends playing very differently. I just had to give myself a chance." 

Barty will face Kvitova next in a repeat of last year's quarter-final, the Czech having fought from a set down to defeat Sakkari.

"I love Petra, but let's hope she doesn't break my heart again on Tuesday!" said Barty, who was beaten 6-1 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena in 2019.

  

COCO MANIA DEPARTS MELBOURNE​, JABEUR MAKES HISTORY

Gauff's fairytale run came to an end at the hands of countrywoman Kenin, who steamrolled the 15-year-old 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-0 on Melbourne Arena.

American sensation Gauff dethroned defending champion Naomi Osaka in the previous round and she looked on track to reach the quarters in Melbourne.

However, fellow rising star and 14th seed Kenin blitzed Gauff to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

Next up for Kenin is Jabeur after the Tunisian beat Chinese star Qiang Wang 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

Wang eliminated 23-time slam singles champion Williams in the third round, however, she was unable to back it up on Sunday.

Jabeur, who hit 29 winners, became the first Arab woman to ever make a slam quarter-final.

KVITOVA RETURNS TO QUARTERS

Australian Open runner-up Kvitova avoided a major upset as she rallied past Sakkari 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

After losing a tight first set, two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova hit 33 winners and broke Sakkari eight times en route to a fourth quarter-final in Melbourne.

Playing in front of a vocal Green contingent supporting Sakkari, Kvitova said: "When I was shaking the hand with the umpire, I told him it was like a soccer match today. I mean, it's nice on one side. On the other side, it's the tennis, and it's not a Fed Cup. It's strange. But it didn't bother me at all."

Coco Gauff said playing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year is "definitely the goal" following the 15-year-old's Australian Open exit.

Gauff's fairytale run in Melbourne came to an end at the hands of fellow American Sofia Kenin, who rallied past the teenage sensation 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-0 in the fourth round on Sunday.

After dethroning defending champion Naomi Osaka, highly rated Gauff was unable to get past Kenin to reach her maiden grand slam quarter-final.

But the world number 67 was in good spirits post-match as she looks to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

"That's definitely the goal," Gauff told reporters when asked about the Olympics, which gets underway in July. "Hopefully I can get my ranking up and qualify. I'm sure the cutoff is French Open. 

"I'm pretty sure I only have like three tournaments before French Open, so… it will be difficult. But I'm going to try as hard as possible. I definitely do want to play the Olympics. I mean, it would be pretty cool."

Gauff dazzled in her first Australian Open main draw appearance, upstaging Venus Williams, Sorana Cirstea and Osaka en route to the last 16.

"My short-term goal is to improve," Gauff added. "That's the main thing. I'm doing well right now at 15. I still have so much I feel like I can get better on. Even my parents, my team, they all believe I can get better.

"I don't even think this is close to a peak for me, even though I'm doing well right now. The goal is just really to get better, you know, have these good runs at tournaments, building up my experience and playing more tournaments just so I can be ready for matches like this today."

Simona Halep believes the run to the Australian Open last 16 by Coco Gauff is a "great thing" for tennis and expects the 15-year-old to win a grand slam "soon".

Gauff stunned defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round to match her best career performance at a major, which she previously achieved at Wimbledon.

The American was knocked out by eventual tournament winner Halep in the fourth round at the All England Club.

Both players are in contention for glory in Melbourne after the fourth seed joined the teenager in round four with a 6-1 6-4 win over Yulia Putintseva on Saturday.

Halep was asked about the contrast in women's tennis between Gauff thriving at 15 and Caroline Wozniacki retiring at 29 at a time 38-year-old Serena Williams is soon to be re-joined by another veteran in Kim Clijsters.

"Well, it's kind of a big mix here with the 15-year-old that is winning matches in a grand slam and makes it look easy," said the 28-year-old.

"And a 29-year-old retiring, so I'm very close but, yes, I hope not yet! But also we have a 38-year-old still playing, Serena. Everyone has their own feelings about this sport. 

"What Coco Gauff is doing in this moment is a great thing. I'm sure that she gets a lot of confidence, and soon she will be able to win one of these big tournaments.

"And about Kim it's really nice to hear that she's coming back. I played once against her and I lost. 

"Maybe I will have another chance to play against her, because actually, she was a model for me growing up, so I look forward to see her back on tour."

Gauff will meet compatriot Sofia Kenin in the last 16 while two-time grand slam winner Halep takes on Elise Mertens.

Osaka has discussed the pressures of returning to the top events as a major champion but Halep feels her previous successes at the French Open and Wimbledon give her an advantage.

Halep said: "It was different because I played few finals before and actually I felt that it's really tough to get one. 

"After I did it, I felt like, okay, it's really tough but it's possible. Everything is possible.

"So maybe I relaxed a little bit more and I don't see that these tournaments are so out of reach anymore. So I feel more confident."

And Halep insisted seeing Williams, Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic crash out in the early stages does not make her worried about being the next victim of an upset.

"I hope not," she said. "I just take the responsibility on my game, and I have expectations for myself, but I know that everything can happen. So I'm ready to fight for every match I play. 

"I know at this level everything can happen, so that's why sometimes I'm a little bit stressed, sometimes I'm relaxed.

"It's just a tournament, and I'm sure that for you guys it's a little bit of shock when the top-10 players are losing, but it's life and we cannot be 100 per cent every day. So we go ahead, and if I'm still in the tournament, it's a good thing."

Coco Gauff continues to make history at the Australian Open and the American teenage sensation has the chance to break more records.

Gauff has the opportunity to become the first 15-year-old to win a grand slam title after dethroning Australian Open champion and third seed Naomi Osaka in the third round on Friday.

After announcing herself against Venus Williams at Wimbledon last year, Gauff has flourished in her main-draw debut at Melbourne Park this month.

Not overawed, Gauff became the youngest player to beat a defending champion at the Australian Open in the Open Era courtesy of her ruthless 6-3 6-4 victory over former world number one Osaka on Rod Laver Arena.

It was a performance, which lasted just over an hour, that shattered records in Melbourne, where Gauff became the youngest player to beat a defending champion at a slam since Jennifer Capriati (15 years and 163 days) at the 1991 US Open.

Gauff also eclipsed Martina Hingis – the youngest winner of a major singles title (1997 Australian Open) at 16 years and 105 days – as the youngest player to reach the last 16 at Melbourne Park since the Swiss great (15 years and 120 days) made it through to the 1996 quarter-finals.

She was the first American woman in 30 years to reach the third round in each of her first three slam main-draw appearances, a feat accomplished by neither Williams sister, and the third player in the last 30 years to earn at least eight slam match wins before her 16th birthday.

Gauff is also the youngest player to defeat a top-five ranked opponent since the 1991 match between Capriati and Gabriela Sabatini.

World number one Ash Barty made serene progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams suffered shock exits.

Coco Gauff claimed another famous scalp in the form of defending champion Osaka to join Williams' conqueror Qiang Wang in the next round.

In a mixed day for the American contingent, Alison Riske and Sofia Kenin also went through, but Madison Keys was knocked out in straight sets.

Petra Kvitova was in commanding form as she progressed, while Caroline Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with defeat.

OSAKA DEFENCE ENDS AS SERENA WAIT GOES ON

Gauff got revenge for a rout at the hands of Osaka at the US Open last year to claim the biggest win of her fledgling career, seeing off the number three seed 6-3 6-4.

Beaten 6-3 6-0 in just 65 minutes at Flushing Meadows, 15-year-old Gauff made the most of 30 unforced errors from her opponent to set up a meeting with compatriot Kenin, who defeated Shuai Zhang 7-5 7-6 (9-7).

Williams' wait for a 24th grand slam singles title goes on, the American beaten in 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 by Wang in a gripping encounter.

The 38-year-old, who hit 56 unforced errors to Wang's 20, confessed afterwards: "I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today."

OMINOUS SIGNS FROM BARTY AND KVITOVA

There were no such concerns for Barty, who dispatched Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2 in 78 minutes.

The home favourite will face Riske in the fourth round, the American outlasting Julia Goerges 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Last year's runner-up Petra Kvitova progressed in similarly imperious fashion, seeing off Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1 6-2.

Kvitova, who is yet to drop a set at this year's event, will now face Maria Sakkari after her impressive 6-4 6-4 defeat of Keys.

 

TEARFUL WOZNIACKI BOWS OUT

Former world number one Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with a three-set defeat to Ons Jabeur.

The 2018 champion lost 7-5 3-6 7-5 to the Tunisian, who will play a fourth-round match at a major for the first time against Wang.

An emotional Wozniacki, who fought back from 3-0 down in the decider but was decisively broken in the 11th game, said afterwards: "I want to be out there fighting. I fought like my life depended on it."

Two-time grand slam winner Naomi Osaka claimed she still does not have a "champion's mentality" following her stunning defeat to 15-year-old Coco Gauff at the Australian Open.

Osaka's defence of her Melbourne Park crown crumbled at the third-round stage amid a sea of unforced errors as she went down 6-3 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.

American teenager Gauff appeared the more composed player throughout and Osaka conceded her fragile mindset was holding her back.

She said: "It was one of those days where I couldn't do anything right.

"I don't really have the champion mentality yet, which is someone that can deal with not playing 100 per cent. I have always wanted to be like that, but I guess I still have a long way to go.

"There are moments when you don't play 100 per cent and you still win the match because you don't have to play perfect to win sometimes.

"It's just something that I think some people are born with and some people have to [undergo] trials and stuff to get it."

Osaka described her life as "full of tests" and admitted she is sometimes "overwhelmed".

She added: "I feel like I get tested a lot, like life is just full of tests and unfortunately for me, my tests are tennis matches. So I just have to find a way to navigate through it.

"I feel like there are moments where I can handle them and then there are moments like this where I get overwhelmed and I don't really know what to do in the situation."

Osaka's misery and self-reflection was in stark contrast to Gauff who felt she had learned the lessons of her hammering at the hands of the same opponent at the 2019 US Open.

Asked what she had taken on board from that chastening New York experience, Gauff said: "Definitely the pace of her ball.

"She definitely plays faster than most players. I think at the US Open I wasn't really prepared for that. And today I definitely showed that I worked on that in the offseason."

Following their last meeting, Gauff broke down in tears and was consoled in moving scenes by Osaka.

And the youngster, who meets Sofia Kenin next, will always be grateful for the Japanese's considerate reaction.

"I'm forever thankful for that moment," she said.

"It was a great moment for me, but also the people watching. In sport, sometimes people think we're enemies, and we're not. Some of us are, but most of us, we're all friends.

"Obviously on the court, we take things intense, but a real athlete can absolutely hate you on the court, but off the court they're nice.

"That's what true champions are, and that's why she has two grand slams, because of her on-court personality and off-court personality."

This time there were no tears, no consoling embraces, no emotional speeches, it all seemed crushingly routine. And that was the most remarkable thing of all.

Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff breezed past defending champion Naomi Osaka and into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a ridiculously accomplished display on Friday.

The last time they met, at the 2019 US Open, Osaka was a 6-3 6-0 victor with the teenager's uncontrolled disappointment at the end met with compassion and grace by the Japanese.

This was no way to repay her, Gauff gaining ruthless revenge – winning 6-3 6-4 in just 67 minutes on Rod Laver Arena - to set up a clash with either Zhang Shuai or Sofia Kenin.

Osaka started well, her blazing groundstrokes threatening to overpower Gauff but the American gradually started to impose her game and, as she did, the errors started to increase from the other side of the net.

Three successive missed backhands handed Gauff a break and a 5-3 lead and, aided by two more mistakes from Osaka's backhand wing, she served it out to love.

Osaka's mental time-out continued at the start of the second, a wild forehand seeing her broken again.

But, finally, the third seed regrouped to hit back immediately and level at 1-1 and then move 2-1 up.

If there was a time for self-doubt it was now, but Gauff never wavered, her consistency from the back of the court in stark contrast to Osaka, who racked up 30 unforced errors in the match.

The majority came on the backhand and it broke down again as Gauff claimed the Osaka serve to edge 4-3 up.

Osaka did, at least, make Gauff serve it out but then handed her the win on a silver platter with another error-strewn game as the world number 67 powered through.

Ash Barty and Serena Williams moved through at the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff set up a third-round showdown.

Home favourite and world number one Barty was untroubled on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, continuing her run in Melbourne.

Williams was below her best but still advanced during the night session as her bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title continued.

There is also the prospect of a mouthwatering showdown between two of the game's leading lights on Friday.

 

BARTY, SERENA UNTROUBLED

Barty brushed past Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-4 in just 66 minutes on the back of a consistent performance.

The Australian mixed 16 winners – nine of those from the forehand side – with 16 unforced errors, setting up a clash with Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina.

Williams was left frustrated during the second set of her 6-2 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek.

The American star was pushed before advancing in one hour, 18 minutes, having committed 28 unforced errors, including 17 in the second set.

Next up for Williams is Wang Qiang, the Chinese 27th seed having rushed past Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2.

 

OSAKA, GAUFF SET UP BLOCKBUSTER CLASH

Osaka's title defence stayed alive with a 6-2 6-4 victory over China's Zheng Saisai.

The Japanese third seed faces her biggest test yet in the third round, where Gauff awaits after the teenager's comeback win.

Gauff looked set for an exit, trailing Sorana Cirstea 3-0 in the final set.

But the 15-year-old fought back to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory and reach the third round at a grand slam for the third straight time.

Osaka crushed Gauff 6-3 6-0 when the pair met at last year's US Open.

 

WOZNIACKI STAYS ALIVE AS KVITOVA, KEYS ADVANCE

Caroline Wozniacki stretched her professional career for at least another match by beating Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, who is retiring at the end of the tournament, came from 5-1 down in the first set and 3-0 behind in the second.

Last year's runner-up, Petra Kvitova, was tested in a 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain's Paula Badosa while Madison Keys also had moments of concern in her 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over Arantxa Rus.

Petra Martic (13) and Aryna Sabalenka (11) were among the seeds to fall, with the latter beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in their opening-round clash.

World number one Ash Barty was relieved to come through the "chaos" of a first day of few shocks at the Australian Open.

Home favourite and top seed Barty had to come from a set down to progress in Melbourne, beating Lesia Tsurenko 5-7 6-1 6-1.

The Queenslander ensured she joined several other big names in advancing, with defending champion Naomi Osaka triumphing along with Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova - straight-sets winners over Anastasia Potapova and Katerina Siniakova respectively.

Venus Williams did not follow her sister into round two, though, as she fell to 15-year-old Coco Gauff once again.

Gauff had already beaten fellow American Williams at Wimbledon last year and pulled off a repeat on Monday.

Sloane Stephens crashed out 2-6 7-5 6-2 to Zhang Shuai, while Barbora Strycova lost to Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, but fellow seeds Petra Martic, Sofia Kenin and Ekaterina Alexandrova all advanced.

Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire at the end of the tournament, prolonged her career by easing past Kristie Ahn 6-1 6-3.


BARTY GETTING BETTER AT EACH SLAM

Barty won the French Open last season and feels she is improving with the experience of every major.

"It's always a little bit different, I think," she said. "Slams always feel like there's a lot of chaos going because there's so many people.

"It's busy with singles and doubles players, mixed players, families, coaches, everyone underneath. It's just chaos.

"When you're able to separate that from when you step on the court is when you can do a little bit better, play a little bit better, feel a little bit more comfortable.

"I feel like we've been able to do that better and better with each slam that I've played. It's an experience thing. You have to learn how to deal with it, but it's getting better."

Reflecting on her role as a home favourite and the top seed, Barty added: "I feel like I'm doing it the best way that I know how. I'm doing it with my team. We're doing it as a team.

"We're loving it. We're embracing it. There's no other way to approach it. I think we're just going along for the ride, trying to play some good tennis."


VENUS: THE SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR COCO

Seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams knows a thing or two about champions, and she expects new nemesis Gauff to go all the way to the top.

Asked if the teenager has a "champion's mentality", Williams replied: "She clearly wants it, works very hard, is extremely mature for her age. I think the sky's the limit for her."

The veteran was impressed by Gauff's mentality, adding: "She just played very focused and put a lot of balls in the court. That's what you have to do.

"She'll play well for the rest of the event."


WOZNIACKI 'TRYING TO ENJOY THE MOMENT'

Knowing her career is coming to an end, Wozniacki acknowledged she found it difficult to keep her emotions in check.

But the 2018 champion is determined to enjoy her final days at the top of the sport.

"I feel good, having won my first match here. It's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament," she said. "There's a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today.

"I think I'm just really trying to enjoy every moment. I don't know that there is one particular moment, but there is once in a while where you're like, 'Wow, this really is my last one'.

"You never know, it [could be] still two weeks from now. But every match you go out there, I'm just going to give it everything that I have, because it could be the last."

Venus Williams said she would love to play doubles with sister Serena at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year after Monday's Australian Open first-round exit.  

It was a case of deja vu for Venus, who went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to 15-year-old Coco Gauff in a rematch of 2019's memorable Wimbledon clash.

Venus was stunned by the American teenager at the All England Club last year and the 39-year-old former world number one suffered the same fate in Melbourne.

Her attention, however, turned to the Olympics after a straight-sets loss on Margaret Court Arena.

"In a perfect world, I would play every time. I love it," seven-time grand slam singles champion Venus said in her news conference.

Asked specifically about teaming up with 23-time major winner Serena Williams and whether she has discussed the prospect with her sibling, Venus replied: "I mean, in the perfect world, we'll be there.

"If I'm blessed enough to play again, that would be an amazing opportunity."

Venus has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles at Sydney 2000 and three in partnership with Serena, while she also boasts 14 women's doubles titles in slams. 

"[I've] had a lot of success in doubles," she added. "That's been a real highlight in my career."

Teenage American Coco Gauff is on a "mission to be the greatest" after vanquishing Venus Williams in their highly anticipated rematch at the Australian Open.   

Gauff announced herself on the international stage by stunning Williams at Wimbledon last year and the 15-year-old repeated the feat in straight sets in Melbourne on Monday.

Making her Australian Open main draw debut, Gauff defeated 39-year-old former world number one Williams 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

"My mission is to be the greatest. That's my goal, to win as many grand slams as possible," Gauff told reporters after Williams said "the sky is the limit" for her countrywoman.

"But for today, my mission was to win. I didn't want to let the nerves come to me. I know I had a couple of set points, and she played well. I knew I had to take it from her. She wasn't going to give it to me. That was really the mission.

"I think today has been the best match so far I played this year. I was a lot more focused. I think today really showed what I worked on in my off-season."

Asked if she believes she can win the event, Gauff replied: "If I go into a tournament thinking I'll lose, then I'm going to lose.

"To answer that, I respect everyone's game and I respect my opponent, but at the end of the day if I'm going to go against them, I can't say, 'Oh, I'm going to lose this match'. That's not the right mentality to have. I believe I can beat anyone. If it happens, I don't know. But I think that's almost every player's mentality. 

"The ones who are the great ones, they don't really fear anyone. You respect your opponent, but you can't go into the match fearing someone, because then you're going to lose, and I don't want to lose."

Gauff added: "I feel like my mindset has changed since the US Open. [At the] US Open I felt like I was on edge every match just because everyone was talking about the US Open before Wimbledon even ended.

"I guess I came to the realisation that I need to play my game, not worry about what people think of me. At the end of the day, I did have three good matches, both US Open and Wimbledon. I still have a lot more to become like one of those big names."

Coco Gauff showed the future is now after vanquishing Venus Williams in straight sets in the first round of the Australian Open.   

American teenager Gauff defied her age yet again, the 15-year-old defeating veteran Williams 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 in her Australian Open main-draw debut at a wet Melbourne Park on Monday.

Gauff produced one of 2019's most remarkable results when she beat five-time Wimbledon champion and countrywoman Williams in the first round at the All England Club.

And Gauff repeated the feat again as she eliminated the 39-year-old former world number one – who withdrew from the Adelaide International through injury – after one hour, 37 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

The first-round match was a standout contest after Gauff announced herself at Wimbledon last year.

Gauff raced out to a 2-0 lead against seven-time grand slam champion Williams, who fought back and saved three set points to claim the break back and pull level at 5-5.

Williams battled well to force a tie-break, but Gauff finally closed out the set after the two-time Australian Open runner-up fired a backhand volley into the net.

The 35-minute second set was more straightforward for Gauff, who fired 10 winners to book her spot in the next round against Sorana Cirstea.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Coco Gauff bt Venus Williams 7-6 (7-5) 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Gauff – 17/30
Williams – 25/41

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Gauff – 2/4
Williams – 7/6

BREAK POINTS WON
Gauff – 2/6
Williams – 1/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Gauff – 58
Williams – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Gauff – 77/61
Williams – 77/40

TOTAL POINTS
Gauff – 78
Williams – 68

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